Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Heart-Pounding Football Action, Bullying, Peer Pressure, and Middle School Angst

Synopsis_________________________________

Last Chance

Author: Max Elliot Anderson
Audience: Middle School; especially boys
Words: 34000
Derek Snyder is about to begin his last year of middle school. This is the last chance he’ll have to feel in charge, before beginning at the bottom of the ladder called high school. He plans to be the captain of his football team, and everyone at school pretty much did as he said. Although his teachers were allowed to call him Derek, everyone else at school had to call him Snyder.
On the day he arrived for the first day of school, Derek was in for a huge surprise. He found his friends crowded around a new student. Even though Derek hated to admit it, this new guy was attractive in every way. Yet, he was not at all what he seemed to be.
Through this story, we learn that Chip used to live in a large city. There, he had been involved in gangs and had even been the cause of the death of another boy.
Derek is determined to push Chip off center stage; a place that only Derek rightly deserved.
This story captures the nuances of junior high identity struggles. Everything Derek had imagined unravels one after the other. Plus, there is plenty of exciting football action.
Readers will learn what is truly important in life as they witness the concept of a person being willing to give up his life for a friend.

This story is funny, exciting, sad, and touching, all at the same time.

Customer review #1

When I saw LAST CHANCE on my to-read-pile, I thought, football season has started. What an appropriate book for this time of the year. So I settled in for a footballish read written for tween boys.

Mr. Anderson's mission is to write for reluctant reader boys and teach them the love of reading and he is good at it. I was introduced to his books back when my (now adult) sons were tweens, and they were totally drawn into his books. Adventure, excitement, sometimes scary, all things that appeal to tween boys.

So that brings me to LAST CHANCE. Derek starts out to be a major jerk. In fact, I took an immediate dislike to him. He is arrogant, cocky, full-of-himself, bully, and king-of-his-world, but I kind of learned why when I met his dad. Wow, what pressure the kid was under. Plus, his family life was pretty sad too.

Chip is the new kid in town. A handsome, friendly, totally lovable chap who doesn't seem to be at all like a street-smart, gang member mentioned above. I fell in love with Chip. But when his story comes out - wow. I cried like a baby. What a testimony. A wonderful faith message, and a heartfelt ending ... Wow. My opinion of the book did a complete 180 and I can't say enough good things about the book.


Review #2

Another wonderful mid-grade Christian book by Mr. Anderson. I'm not an avid sports fan, but I did raise two boys who are. And I recognize the bully who has been bullied. Another 5-star book!

Derek Snyder is the young man in junior high who has big aspirations--egged on by his dad--for being the team captain in his last year before going to high school. That was before the new guy showed up. He's tall and good looking, and the girls are going gaga for him. Plus he is way too athletic for Derek's good. How often does a new guy in the school get elected team captain? Derek isn't worried until that remote chance became a jolting reality.

No problem. Derek and his buddies will make sure he doesn't play. Dennis--big and not really all that bright--is assigned the job of pushing the new guy, Chip, off the track when they all go bike riding over a trail known as the Devil's Backbone. Instead of wrecking, Chip makes it out of what looked like sure disaster with only a layer of dust on his shoulders. Didn't even dent the jock's bright white smile.

Derek doesn't quit trying, but everything he does backfires. Instead of the new guy looking bad, instead Derek does. And Chip still has his smiling teeth gleaming at everyone. What tops the cake is Chip's invitation to Derek to go to church with him. And it all goes downhill from there.

If you have a football enthusiast in your family, you might want to get them a copy of this one. It's worth the price.

Order

Find this and other exciting middle grade titles by Max Elliot Anderson at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=max+elliot+anderson 

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Help Kids to Remember 9/11


“When The Lights Go Out” is a middle grade adventure / mystery that will help kids appreciate what happened on 9 /11 so we never forget.

Unfortunately, the original publisher closed recently so the book is only currently available used. A new publisher had picked it up and new copies will become available soon.

Synopsis_________________________________

When the Lights go Out

Author: Max Elliot Anderson
Audience: 8 – 12; especially boys
Words: About 36,500 
Peyton Aldrich has just moved to a new army base with his parents and younger sister. He doesn’t understand why his father has been sent to such a rundown place in the middle of nowhere. After all, his father was a colonel, with top security clearance, who completed the elite Ranger school. And his training had been in Army Intelligence. Yet, here they were.
Peyton was never allowed to ask his father anything about what he did in the army. Nor was he allowed to ever get in the way. There were many secrets that his dad couldn’t even tell his own family.
Peyton idolized his father. One day, he hoped to grow up to be just like him. His father had told him that the army may not be for everyone, but after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe.
Peyton finds two friends. Gill is the son of the base’s motor pool sergeant, and Dave’s father is the base chaplain. Together they decide to train like Rangers, and search for some kind of mission they could do. Little did they know that a mission was about to put the boys right in the crosshairs of a dangerous terrorist plot, when a secret weapon would be delivered to the base on its way across the country.
There was no way Peyton could tell his father what he knew. After all, it could cost him his job. Peyton, Gill, and Dave have to take matters into their own hands, and they do.
Will the terrorists find out who is trying to expose their evil plan? Will the boys be able to stop them? And what will happen to Peyton’s father when the general finds out what the boys did?
When the Lights go Out.” A story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget 9/11.



REVIEWS
As a 6th grade teacher, I am always on the look out for good books for my boys who are reluctant readers. They went nuts over this one. Exciting, quick-paced, with good lessons - Anderson has written a book that middle school boys will gobble up in a night or two! What's even better is he's written even more books, and now my boys are seeking them out. Parents and teachers, if you have a boy who doesn't enjoy reading, try this book out on him. It might ignite a new passion for the written word!

      I thoroughly enjoyed this book - and all of Mr. Anderson's books, as has my son. Thanks to Mr. Anderson, my son went from being a very reluctant reader, but when he read the first book he was hooked, and has read every one of his books to date. He still reads Mr. Anderson's books, even though he's now in college. (He also reads Ted Dekker, so that says something about the excitement level of these books!)
If you are looking for a book for your reluctant reader then WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT or any of Mr. Anderson's books will be excellent to pick up. Highly recommended.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

9 More Books Soon To Be Published

One of my publishers - The Book Club Network - will soon be releasing these 9 titles after moving to a different online platform. All will be available at places like Amazon as well as distributed through Ingram.

I'll keep you updated as they become available.

Max


Mysterious Cabin

Synopsis_________________________________

It was only supposed to be a mountain wilderness hike for three boys with camping gear, guides, and everything. What could possibly go wrong with all those adults around? These three friends plodded along at the back of the line of hikers. Then one of the boys did something he knew was wrong; he darted off the trail to get a picture. They’d taken special classes, joined an expert group of mountain hikers, and now they found themselves separated from the group, all alone, and lost in the fog. But that’s not the worst of it. The boys had to cross a broken-down suspension bridge high above a bottomless gorge with raging water gushing right through the middle of it. There was a bear that nearly ate Benji, hundreds of soldiers on a military training exercise, and an abandoned cabin – which wasn’t abandoned after all. A band of terrorists were in the final stages of carrying out their deadly attack. Could the boys get away? Could they tell someone about the evil plan? And would anyone be able to warn the city of Denver in time?





When the Lights go Out

Synopsis_________________________________

Peyton Aldrich has just moved to a new army base with his parents and younger sister. He doesn’t understand why his father has been sent to such a rundown place in the middle of nowhere. After all, his father was a colonel, with top security clearance, who completed the elite Ranger school. And his training had been in Army Intelligence. Yet, here they were.
Peyton was never allowed to ask his father anything about what he did in the army. Nor was he allowed to ever get in the way. There were many secrets that his dad couldn’t even tell his own family.
Peyton idolized his father. One day, he hoped to grow up to be just like him. His father had told him that the army may not be for everyone, but after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe.
Peyton finds two friends. Gill is the son of the base’s motor pool sergeant, and Dave’s father is the base chaplain. Together they decide to train like Rangers, and search for some kind of mission they could do. Little did they know that a mission was about to put the boys right in the crosshairs of a dangerous terrorist plot, when a secret weapon would be delivered to the base on its way across the country.
There was no way Peyton could tell his father what he knew. After all, it could cost him his job. Peyton, Gill, and Dave have to take matters into their own hands, and they do.
Will the terrorists find out who is trying to expose their evil plan? Will the boys be able to stop them? And what will happen to Peyton’s father when the general finds out what the boys did?
When the Lights go Out.” A story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget 9/11.



Barney and the Runaway

Synopsis_________________________________

Barney and the Runaway tells the story of Michael Ellis, who has recently told his parents to start calling him Mike from now on. He especially hated the way they were always telling him what to do. Mike decides to teach his parents a lesson by pretending to run away for a day with his dog Barney. 
The plan gets a bit more complicated than planned when Mike and Barney hide in a railroad boxcar, fall asleep, and end up in Georgia with a circus in the middle of the night. Fortunately for the runaways, Big Bob the Clown takes Mike and Barney to safety in his wagon. Mike decides that living and performing with the circus might be a good idea until Big Bob opens Mike’s eyes to his unfortunate past. 
Mike’s encounter with this grown up runaway, in the circus, helps him to understand that his parents truly love him. Then Mike and Barney save the circus. Through it all, Mike learns the importance of family.
Parents often punish their children, but only because they love and want what is best for them, not because they don’t care. Even though the life of a circus performer with a circus family may appear fun, if given a choice, most would agree that living in a warm home with loving, caring parents is the preferred choice. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” After Mike overhears some unsettling news and both he and Barney are involved in a scary and dangerous crime, Mike learns his lesson before it’s too late.




Mystery At Wolf Lake


Synopsis_________________________________ 

Eddy Thompson cheated on anything, anytime, anywhere. His hero is John Dillinger, one of the most dangerous bank robbers in American history. It’s winter in Indiana and Christmas break is almost here. 

Finally school is out. After Christmas, Eddy's father invites Chet, Rusty, and their fathers to drive up to a cabin he owns on Wolf Lake, in Michigan, for ice fishing, tobogganing, and winter fun in the snow. But something happens up at Wolf Lake that will change Eddie’s life. It isn’t the brutal cold. It isn’t when Eddy falls through the ice. It isn’t even when two scary men arrive at their remote cabin.

The boys’ fathers go fishing and leave them to build a snow fort along the back fence. It’s dark when two real bank robbers show up, on the other side of that fence, as police sirens race toward them. They toss their stolen cash over the fence, hoping to come back for it later.

Eddie the cheater wants to keep it, and that’s when their troubles really begin.
With so much danger closing in and with the help of his friends, Eddy realizes how wrong it is to cheat. 

But the danger doesn't end there. After the boys return from Wolf Lake, and are alone for New Years Eve, they find that home might not be the safest place, either.


Legend of the White Wolf 


Synopsis_________________________________ 

Take two eleven-year-old boys, a mysterious white wolf, a dangerous band of illegal hunters, and all the excitement of the rugged outdoors near Yellowstone, put it all together in a book and you have an adventure story even the most "reluctant" of readers will pick up and enjoy. 
Brian Fisher was no different from other young boys and, so, it was not much of a surprise that he resented the fact that no one believed his fantastic tale about a white wolf. It was also no surprise that he decided to prove the story true, even if it meant putting his own life in danger. 
It all began when Brian discovered a white wolf pup caught in a trap and set it free. Since then, Brian was convinced that he and the wolf shared a special bond. Stung by the disbelief of his family and friends, Brian sets out to confirm the story and ends up getting a lot more than he bargained for. It is bad enough that he is caught out in a snowstorm and attacked by a mountain lion, but when a group of lawless hunters begins killing off the wolf population, that's when Brian has to get right in the middle of it. 



Newspaper Caper


Synopsis_________________________________

Tom Stevens was a super salesman. He and his friends delivered newspapers early every morning. Along their route, the boys often saw some pretty strange things. Then one day they actually became the story in the papers they delivered. 

Early in the morning, while it was still dark, the three boys stumbled across some suspicious activity. A tow truck begins to hook up an expensive car in someone’s driveway along their paper route. Tom sees the name Jake embroidered on one guy's pocket. But when the tow truck driver sees the boys, he drives off in the truck, leaving the car behind. 

Tom reads in the paper the next morning about a string of car thefts around the area. He begins to see a connection between a local car repair shop and the thefts. The same Jake turns out to be a mechanic at a relative's garage, and he acts very secretive when the boys are around.

The boys’ adventures begin as they take matters into their own hands and investigate the car thefts. They befriend an elderly widow whose car was stolen, and encounter vicious watchdogs and the thieves themselves at the chop-shop, in an abandoned warehouse used by the crooks.

But it’s Tom who proves to be the one who carries this mystery to its dangerous conclusion. Will his investigating skills be enough to help him to solve the crimes. 



North Woods Poachers


Synopsis_________________________________

It was that time again—the annual fishing trip. Every summer was the same. The two Washburn families packed up their identical over-sized pickup trucks and headed for Canada. Only this time Andy Washburn determined it was going to be different. He didn't quite know what, or how he was going to work it out, but he was not going to spend two weeks in a boat, fishing this year. There had to be something better they could do up there instead. Even if they had to include Sarah, Andy's nine-year-old sister, and Jessica, CJ's sister, they'd do it.
Andy and CJ, his cousin, both approaching their twelfth birthdays, tried to find ways to get out of all that fishing. CJ is a computer whiz, and tests new products for his father's company, so he brings this year’s newest games and gadgets along, and they sure come in handy.
After arriving at the lake, the boys made a deal with their dads. They'd fish for the first couple of days then the boys could go off and explore the area. This becomes even more exciting when two, identical, black float-planes landed on the lake, after dark, and disappeared into the cove around the bend from the Washburn's cabins. Then they took off again before sunrise the next morning. 

The boys determined to find out what that was all about. When Andy remembered that, at the Canada/US border, they'd been stopped and searched, another vehicle had been found to have illegal turtles hidden in the spare-tire well. Andy was sure these planes were poachers landing and taking off in the dark.
When the four children set out on their mission, they have no idea what they're getting themselves into. They find an old forest watch tower which, of course, they have to climb. From there they can see into the lodge on the other side of the cove where the two strange float-planes had gone. They return to the tower the next day with a telescope that belongs to Andy's dad. What they see and discover turns into sudden danger for these four kids.  They uncover the answer to the mysterious, black planes, but they also stir up some serious trouble when they discover that there is an international ring of wild animal poachers operating out of the old abandoned lodge.  



Mischief After Midnight

Synopsis_________________________________

When a brother and his younger sister find out they’re going to spend spring break out west, on their cousin’s ranch, they have no idea what dangers lie ahead of them. This is no old-time dusty western story. The children ride in their uncle’s airplane, he uses his satellite telephone, and the local sheriff patrols the area in a powerful helicopter. And the people stealing cattle from  ranchers in the area use large trucks, all-terrain vehicles, and their own high-tech equipment in an effort to stay one step ahead of the law. The kids are invited on a trail ride to find new calves for branding. Evidence is piling up that one of the ranch hands might be in on the stealing. But why is he working on the ranch? Their cousin told them the guy should be in prison for stealing cattle. Then a rattlesnake bite changes everything. Now it’s a race against time to help the victim, find the rustlers, and save the ranch.


The Great Cave Caper


Synopsis_________________________________


Four boys had formed a detective club in their little town where nothing much ever happens. That is, until they put their money together and ordered a police scanner for the shack where they held their meetings. The area around where they lived, in New Market, Virginia, was littered with caves. The uncle of one of the club’s members has a cave right on his farm. That’s when the guys hatched the idea of going out to the cave for a little innocent exploring. The cave was on private property, so they knew they’d be safe and no one could bother them. But on the night before their big adventure, the scanner came alive with reports of a big bank heist in a nearby city. The boys thought surely the robbers would be long gone by the time they set up their campsite near the cave. They were wrong. Inside the cave the next morning they found something. Now the robbers were coming in the entrance of the cave and the boys couldn’t get out.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Any dog lovers in your family or circle of friends?

Any dog lovers in your family or circle of friends?


“SHADOW”
     “SHADOW”
Synopsis_________________________________
Shadow
Author: Max Elliot Anderson
Audience: 8 – 12; especially boys
Words: 26000
Shadow is a classic, boy-and-his-dog story, filled with twists, turns, action,

danger, and mystery. For as long as he could remember, all Bobby Taylor ever wanted was a dog of his own…any dog. But, he had a problem. His step-father managed the local animal control facilities, and the last thing he wanted to see at home was another barking dog.
Bobby began to notice a severely neglected dog, in the back yard of a run-down home that he passes on his way to school. So, he sort of adopted this pitiful animal as his own. He even gave him a name; Shadow. Unfortunately, because the dog had been so mistreated, he had an extremely vicious side. But, whenever he was in Bobby’s presence, anyone would have thought that this was the most gentle dog in town.
Buck and his followers made it their mission to pick on Bobby with every opportunity. That’s because Bobby was one of the scrawniest kids in school.
Then a rash of vandalism struck the town of Mason City. It began small, but became increasingly destructive. After each hit, the vandals left their mark; a symbol that was always spray-painted on a wall or sidewalk. Bobby is able to keep Shadow, as his own dog, under one condition. If the dog ever attacks anyone, the sheriff has ordered that Bobby’s father would have to put the dog down.
What happens when Bobby finally discovers who’s behind the vandalism? And, when they know that he knows, they set out to make sure he never tells another human being. After Shadow ultimately saves Bobby’s life, he puts his own in jeopardy.
This story will remind readers how important it is to tell the truth, no matter what the consequences may be.

Find this and other exciting middle grade adventure and mystery books by Max Elliot Anderson at: 
https://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=max+elliot+anderson+books&sprefix=max+elliot+anderson%2Caps%2C151&crid=3BFFZXNX4YGXJ 

                         REVIEWS


I'm becoming more and more impressed with Max Elliot Anderson's books. I think they easily rival the old Hardy Boys series--remember them? This is a middle-grade mystery and adventure, one I think you and your kids will love. Five stars!

Bobby Taylor is the hero in this story--a boy who had always wanted a dog, but whose step father refuses to allow it. Bobby is also the butt of bigger kids jokes and harassment. Said step father manages the pound and is the one who has to order dogs put to death. He's afraid Bobby will be enthusiastic over a dog for a while but will then lose interest and quit taking good care of it. That's how a lot of dogs wind up in the pound.

Bobby befriends a large, vicious-sounding and acting dog. It turns out the poor dog is mistreated and is apparently just used for guarding a fenced yard. Suddenly the dog turns up missing, and it doesn't seem anyone is left in the house inside the yard. When Bobby discovers him in the step father's pound, amazing things begin to happen.


You should get this for your kids. Or for yourself, if you've never outgrown your love of a good, clean mystery.

5.0 out of 5 stars
SHADOW is a very sad story--readers will need tissues. It was heart-breaking to know how Shadow was treated by his first owner and heart-breaking how Bobby was treated by bullies.

It became heartwarming when Bobby was able to befriend Shadow and ultimately they became really close. Then the danger esculates and lives are in danger. And in a heart-stopping moment, everything changes for all of them.


Mr. Anderson is a writer for tween boys who are reluctant readers and knows how to engage their interest.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"The Littlest Raindrop" A FREE Short Story for Kids

"THE LITTLEST RAINDROP"


Rockford residents can find a short story to read with their younger children that encourages everyone, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that they can still make a big difference.

"The Littlest Raindrop" is published in the July issue of Market Street Press papers. Copies are available free in places like the Discovery Center along with many other outlets. And the paper is FREE!